SLU sweeps doubleheader at No. 11-Ranked Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. – The Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team swept a doubleheader from No. 11-ranked Auburn by scores of 8-3 and 8-7 Saturday at Plainsman Park.
Southeastern (11-5) snapped a seven-game winning streak by the Tigers (12-3-1) and picked up the series victory, the program’s first over a ranked opponent since taking 2-of-3 at No. 21-ranked Rice, Feb. 24-26, 2017.
Jake Killingsworth and Champ Artigues picked up four hits each during the two games. Shea Thomas, Christian Garcia, and TJ Salvaggio contributed three hits apiece. Killingsworth and Rhett Rosevear drove in three runs each.
The Lions return to Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, hosting No. 22-ranked Southern Miss at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
GAME 1 – SLU 8, Auburn 3
Auburn struck first with a two-run home run in the second inning. After Will Kinzeler hit Bryson Ware, the Tigers’ leading hitter, with a pitch to open up the inning, freshman left fielder Chris Stanfield deposited a one-out pitch from Kinzeler over the big wall in left for his first career homer.
Kinzeler kept the game close, pitching out of trouble in the third and fourth before Auburn plated another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly.
The game tightened up in the sixth. Rosevear greeted reliever Chase Allsup with a single to right field to open up the inning. With two outs, the Lions strung together three consecutive singles by Thomas, Garcia (RBI) and Artigues (RBI) as they pulled within a run.
Lance Lauve took over on the mound for the Lions, turning in a lock-down performance out of the bullpen. The sophomore from Madisonville, Louisiana faced one batter over the minimum during his two-inning stint, striking out four batters.
Southeastern picked up four more hits in the eighth on the way to taking the lead.
Tyler Finke led off with a single to left field. Finke stole second, picking up the 72nd of his career to break the SLU career record previously held by Melvin Meyers. Advancing to third on a flyout, Finke scored on a fielder’s choice grounder to the shortstop to tie the game, 3-3.
Garcia singled to left, chasing reliever Chase Isbell from the game in favor of Will Cannon. Artigues and Salvaggio greeted Cannon with back-to-back RBI singles giving Southeastern the lead, 5-3.
The Lions added three more runs in the ninth to extend their lead, the first coming on Finke’s solo home run to left-center field.
Lauve (2-0) earned the win. Jackson Rodriguez earned his first save of the season, working a pair of scoreless innings to close out the win. Isbell (1-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs – all earned – in one inning of work.
GAME 2 – SLU 8, Auburn 7
The Lions came out gunning in the nightcap.
Finke drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He scored on Jake Killingsworth’s double over the head of the right fielder. Thomas and Artigues (RBI) followed with back-to-back singles, staking SLU to a 2-0 lead.
In the second, right fielder Clay Cook led off with a single to left. He stole second, advancing to third on an error. Rosevear drove in Cook with an RBI double down the right-field line.
Meanwhile, Southeastern turned a pair of inning-ending double plays behind starting pitcher Andrew Landry in each of the first two innings.
Auburn picked up a run in the third with a one-out walk and an RBI double to left. Dane Watts threw the hitter out trying to stretch the base knock into a triple. The freshman from Hammond, Louisiana had already nailed a runner trying to score in the eighth inning of the day’s first game.
The Lions got the run back in the fifth. Finke drew a leadoff walk and then stole second base. He scored on Killingsworth’s RBI single through the left side to give SLU a 4-1 lead.
Southeastern turned its third inning-ending double play behind Landry in the fifth.
Cook, a junior from Mize, Mississippi, was hit by a pitch to open up the sixth. He once again stole second and advanced to third on an error, scoring on Rosevear’s sacrifice fly to right.
The Lions added three runs in the eighth, runs that proved to be key as Auburn scratched across five runs in the bottom of the ninth before Lauve once again came out of the bullpen to lock things down for SLU.
Landry (2-1) picked up the win, allowing two runs in six innings pitched. He worked around four hits and five walks, striking out five. Lauve recorded the final out of the game for his first save of the game. Auburn starter Christian Herberholz (0-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs in three innings of work.
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